Album of the Week: Dopplereffekt – Gesamtkunstwerk

What is it: Electro/ Detroit
What does it sound like it: Detroit Electro for the Pop indulgence. Possibly the best album ever made.
Where is it most at home: Anywhere On the dance floor or in the car, in the bedroom, out in the woods. on the moon.

Another act that came out of the ashes of Drexiya, Dopplereffekt was the brainchild of Gerald Donald and became an instant cult classic amongst discerning music fans. It put a new, much needed spin on the classic Detroit sound, taking it out of the the abandoned warehouses of the city’s dilapidating motor industry and into the glitzy showrooms of LA’s most narcissistic and plastic pop culture reality. With tongue and cheek female vocals hooks about being a pornographic artist and modern culture’s love of plastic surgery, accompanied by energetic electro synth riffs that hardly exceed the three-minute pop-song standard, Dopplereffekt’s Gesamtkunstwerk manages to breach that indefinable border between the underground dance floor and the more accessible realms of the superficial world. Released on DJ Hell’s German label, International Deejay Gigolo Records it also appeared to narrow the distance between the US and Europe’s dance floors and at the same time became the catalyst for a new dance-music trend the world over.

Real Electro got rebranded as “Electroclash”, which seemed to come into its own almost immediately after this record was released, laying the foundation for acts like Black Strobe, Miss Kitten, The Hacker and Vitalic to toe a similar line in contemporary music conjecture in Europe. At the same time, Dopplereffekt was an unique entity with Gerald Donald’s historical significance in the story of dance music tied up within the group. As much as it might have spearheaded a movement it certainly existed on its own terms and that’s part of the reason its gone down as classic album. Today it gets re-issued periodically through Clone, who now exclusively publish the record and its as in-demand and as significant today as its ever been. Dopplereffekt however is a group in constant flux, and shortly after this record they ventured into a drone ambient aesthetic for their follow-up records on International Deejay Gigolo before coming back to a Drexicya kind of sound for Leisure System in the last few years. Although great works all in their own rights, Dopplereffekt never managed to get that same crossover formula quite as right as they did with Gesamtkunstwerk, and that;s why it stands out in their own discography and electronic music’s discourse.